"I wanna dedicate this book to my dick," he wrote in his 1992 autobiography, 'Marky Mark.' Calendar pages fly past. In 2011, he was named one of 'Time''s 100 most influential people.
"I watched him go from getting in fights when we were doing 'Three Kings,' barroom brawls and stuff, to developing into this really interesting man," George Clooney says. "He's mellower and gentler than he was. He used to be surrounded by a lot of his friends; some of them weren't the most healthy of people to have around. But he was always in control, and he's developed into one of those guys who you say, 'He's not only going to last in this business, he's going to run the business.'"
Barroom brawls? Wahlberg shrugs. "I was just defending myself from some irate drunk German skydivers." Pause. "When you put your hands on me, it's a problem."
So he's still got a lot of that tough guy in him. More tough guy: He was scheduled to take one of the Boston-to-Los Angeles flights that crashed into the World Trade Center, but he canceled a few days prior. "If I was on that plane with my kids, it wouldn't have went down like it did," he says. "There would have been a lot of blood in that first-class cabin and then me saying, 'OK, we're going to land somewhere safely, don't worry.'"
On the other hand, he's got some candy ass in him too. For one thing, giving blood freaks him out. "The first time I did it, I woke up, I was on the floor. So I gotta lay down when I do it, not look – distract myself. I do not like the idea of giving blood." Also, he cries during movies. "The last time I really cried a lot? During 'The Help'. I cried about six or seven times. It was the wife's choice, but it was a great movie."
And then there's how he feels about his older daughter, Ella, going on her first date. How is he going to handle that?
He flops back in his chair, rubs his chin, looks grim. "I'm not going to think about that right now," he says tensely. "When the time comes, I will, but it's not a good thought for me to have. Thinking about it really stresses me out, so don't stress me out right now, because that's a stressful thought, OK?"
Just then Ella shows up and kisses her daddy on the cheek.
He says, "This creepy guy right here is asking me, 'What about if some boy ever comes to the house to take you on a date? What would you do?' What would Daddy do?"
"No, no, no, no, no," Ella shrieks.
"What would Daddy do?"
She pauses. "I don't know. Go like this?" And with that she pops him a good one right in the nose.
He rears back. "Not hit me!" he shouts. He rubs his nose. She's giggling like crazy.
The phone rings. Wahlberg mashes the earpiece to his ear. "Tell me we got Barry Pepper." Some studio guy on the other end says something that causes Wahlberg to start shaking his head, eyes turning even squintier than normal. Finally he says, "Why're you saying all this other stuff to him you don't need to say?"
Ella can't help herself. She leans in and shouts, "Hello? Who is this?"
"I'm on the phone, Ella. No, no, this is inappropriate."
Ella dances off.
"I'm going to call him," Wahlberg says to the guy on the phone. "I'm going to handle it, dude." He listens, says, "Yeah, well, you're not going to do that. You need to be the bigger person. You need to handle the situation the right way. That's what the studio does, dude." Listens again, says, "You know what? Just trust me, please. Will you trust me, please? You're killing me. I love you, too. Bye."
Ella says, "Who was that?"
"Somebody who has a lot of issues."
"Who's got a lot of issues?"
"Unfortunately, a lot of people do, me included."
"You've got a lot of issues, Daddy?"
He smiles. "Yeah, and you're at the top of the list. Go. I love you. Bye."